10.01.2008 0

Hoisted by Their Own Fuel Taxes

  • On: 10/10/2008 18:38:04
  • In: Energy Crisis, Global Warming Fraud, and the Environment
  • Washington State has found itself between a rock and a hard place—or, better yet, put, between a gas pump and a hard place.

    As fuel prices continue to rise around the country, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that the latest groups to feel these gas pains is none other than the Washington State and local governments themselves. The increased costs have been cutting into virtually every aspect of the transportation budget, including metro lines, ferry lines, police and government transportation, and more.

    And, like most governments, State officials have scrambled to fix the problem without taking a hard, and perhaps revealing, look at the actual source of the problem—Big Government. The article reports various ways the government plans to alleviate these overwhelming costs:

    “At this point, core services won’t be cut. But ferry rides might take a little longer, highway trash might not get picked up as often and King County Metro riders might be in for a fare increase as governments try to address the problem.”

    The aforementioned King County Metro, for example, is looking at a $13 million budget shortfall this year due solely to the recent record gas prices. Government officials who once built a budget around cheaper gas prices are now forced to take a second look.

    But are they looking in the right place?

    The answer currently seems to be “no.” Perhaps the first look a government should always take is an introspective look.

    As many—especially in the media—forget time and time again, the government has had a gargantuan impact on gas prices through the staggering taxes at the pump that they themselves determine. In a painful twist of irony, the Washington State government has been hoisted by their own petard when it comes to gas tax revenues.

    In Washington, the government taxes gasoline and diesel 36 cents per gallon, one of the highest in the nation.

    The same enormous gas taxes that were originally instated to help strengthen the government budget have become the very crutch of that government. And worst of all, no one seems to have noticed.

    Let’s take a moment to consider what would happen if the State government decided to cut its gas taxes to a low, but still feasible, level. Or eliminated them all together.

    For starters, the government—and more importantly taxpayers—would no longer have to fork out $4.00 per gallon to fuel State trooper vehicles nor its Metro trains. Similarly, those Washington residents who currently use public transit would not be discouraged due to unpleasant hikes in user fares.

    A second angle to consider is that for all the gas taxes the government takes in, they are draining that money directly out of the economy. A significant drop in or elimination of gasoline and diesel taxes would not only put more money back into the pockets of Washington drivers It would also further stimulate the economy and encourage more consumption, the economic benefits of which would be widespread. It might even help the State to balance the budget.

    The irony of this episode is not lost on ALG News. We believe it is just desserts when big, fat governments to run out of money because they have done so much to wreck the economy and grow at unsustainable rates.

    ALG Perspective:
    Instead increasing taxes and fares even further when budgets dry up, governments need to be more proactive to take action to reduce the price of fuel. The first and easiest thing governments could do to reduce fuel costs is to eliminate fuel taxes. Period.

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